Case Snapshot
Case ID: 16436
Classification: Fighting
Animal: dog (pit-bull)
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Thursday, Apr 22, 2010

County: Sussex

Charges: Felony CTA
Disposition: Alleged

» Ray Purnell
» Thomas Purnell

On Thursday, April 22, state troopers assigned to the Drug Task Force and the Governor’s Task Force in Sussex County concluded an investigation into the alleged distribution of marijuana by Ray Purnell of Old State Road, in Ellendale.

The investigation was initiated in May 2009.

Troopers obtained a search warrant for the residence. The assistance of Kent County SPCA was enlisted on account of dog-control issues. Ray Purnell was not at the residence. His brother, Thomas Purnell, was linked to the distribution of marijuana, and was arrested without incident.

During the search of the residence and surrounding property, approximately one half-pound (218.6 grams) of marijuana was located in a large white duffle bag, along with $500 cash, seized from Thomas Purnell. The marijuana was located in the midst of a large “kennel” area to the rear of the property. Contained in this area were 24 pit-bull dogs of various ages. The condition of the dogs indicated that several were recently involved in some sort of dog fighting, police said, as numerous serious injuries were observed.

Two dog training treadmills were observed along with what police called a “rape” stand, used for impregnating female dogs. Inside and outside the residence numerous injectable animal antibiotics were located. Other medications used for the treatment of animal wounds were also observed.

All of the items were seized, and subsequently turned over to the Kent and Sussex Animal Control Officers. All 24 dogs located at the residence were seized by the SPCA.

Thomas Purnell was charged with Possession with the Intent to Deliver Marijuana, Conspiracy 2nd, Maintaining a Dwelling, Tampering with Evidence, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Thomas Purnell was committed to the Department of Correction in lieu of secured bond.

Ray Purnell was arrested on Friday, April 23, on the same drug charges as his brother. He was committed to the Department of Corrections in default of $7,000 bail. Felony Arrest Warrants are also currently pending for Ray Purnell for Dog Fighting and Animal Cruelty. These charges are being obtained by the Sussex SPCA.


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